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Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), Kyrgyzstan, Pamir-Alai, Karavshin Region, Asan, Forever Yak, Previously Unreported

Asan, Forever Yak, Previously Unreported. In July, 1998, Martin Waldhör and I spotted an obvious dihedral and crack system that leads above an initial slab straight through the south face of Asan to finish high up on the southwest arête left of the summit. It looked impressive and it was unclimbed* so we moved our small tent onto a nice meadow about an hour’s walk below the bottom of the face. On July 17, we started our first attempt only to be stopped on the second pitch when we were forced to hand-drill bolts on a very wet slab. We reached a crack system in the afternoon and rapped off. After a rest day, during which we were visited by a herd of hundreds of yaks, we climbed the route in ten hours and returned to our tents nearly 17 hours after leaving. Forever Yak (IV 5.10, 600m) has excellent sustained 5.9 to 5.10 climbing, though at times a bit runout. We removed the eight bolts on pitch 2 to use for belays higher up. We descended the normal route on the other side of the mountain.

Jörg Strassner, Germany

*The Ak-Su and Kara-Su valleys have seen extensive climbing for nearly two decades. It is unclear whether this was in fact a new route.